METROFOCUS: March 22, 2021

Tonight’s Front Page Forecast covers the latest headlines in New York and around the nation from the escalating hate crimes against Asian-Americans to new disturbing details about the workplace discrimination and sexual harassment charges against Gov. Cuomo. Our panel includes producer of weekly public radio show “Latino USA” Maria Hinojosa, New York Times Metro Politics reporter Jeff Mays and Queens reporter at The City Christine Chung.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS' FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

EVEN BY THIS PAST YEAR'S STANDARDS, THE NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE SHAPING UP TO BE SOME OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL IN RECENT NEW YORK HISTORY.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN OUR WEEKLY LOOK AT THE NEWSMAKING LOCAL AND NATIONAL HEADLINES AND THE IMPACT ON THE TRI-STATE AREA.

TONIGHT, THERE ARE CONTINUING CALLS FOR IMPACTFUL LEGISLATION AND REFORMS TO COMBAT THE SURGE IN HATE TARGETING ASIAN AMERICANS.

THAT HATE WAS SUSPECTED OF FUELLING MORE ATTACKS IN THE CITY OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS.

IT WAS ALSO DENOUNCED AT DEMONSTRATIONS OVER THE WEEKEND HELD IN RESPONSE TO LAST WEEK'S DEADLY SHOOTINGS IN THE ATLANTA AREA, WHICH MANY BELIEVE WAS RACIALLY MOTIVATED.

THIS SOCIAL MOVEMENT IS UNFOLDING AS GOVERNOR CUOMO FACES A RECKONING OF HIS OWN WITH ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS INTO MOUNTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS AND HIS HANDLING OF COVID NURSING HOME DEATHS.

SO JOINING US TONIGHT TO DISCUSS THESE STORIES AND OTHER MAJOR HEADLINES THAT COULD POSSIBLY BE DRIVING THE NEWS THIS WEEK ARE MARIA HINOJOSA, EMMY AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST AND ANCHOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF 'LATINO USA.'

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

GOOD TO BE HERE WITH YOU.

WE ALSO HAVE JEFF MAYS, A POLITICAL REPORTER AT THE 'NEW YORK TIMES.'

JEFF, GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME BACK.

TODAY WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY CHRISTINE CHUNG, A QUEENS REPORTER AT THE NONPROFIT NEWS ORGANIZATION 'THE CITY.'

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

LET'S START WITH WHAT SEEMS LIKE THE STORY OF THE MOMENT, AND THAT IS ANTI-ASIAN HATE CRIMES.

THERE WERE SEVERAL VIGILS THAT TOOK PLACE OVER THE WEEKEND, AND EVEN WITH THOSE VIGILS THAT WERE HAPPENING, THERE STILL SEEMED TO BE CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST PEOPLE, HATE CRIMES THEORETICALLY, AT THOSE VIGILS HAPPENING.

CHRISTINE, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE POINT OF TENSION THAT'S DRIVING SO MUCH OF THIS BACKLASH AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS STANDING UP AND SAYING WE ARE AMERICANS TOO, WE DON'T DESERVE TO BE TREATED THIS WAY?

I HADN'T REALLY OBSERVED THAT THERE WAS BACKLASH AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS SAYING THAT WE DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS AMERICANS TOO.

I THINK THE REAL POINT OF TENSION THAT I'VE ACTUALLY OBSERVED HAS BEEN THE DIFFERENCE IN PERSPECTIVES BETWEEN CANDIDATES, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND WHAT THE COMMUNITY SAYS THAT THEY WANT AND NEED.

YESTERDAY WAS AN EXAMPLE OF THAT ACTUALLY AT ONE OF THE VIGILS THAT YOU MENTIONED, THE ONE THAT WENT FROM UNION SQUARE TO COLUMBUS PARK AND CHINATOWN, MAYOR CANDIDATE ANDREW YANG SHOWED UP AND SAID, WHICH HE HAS SAID IN THE PAST, THAT HE BELIEVED THAT IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THIS SPATE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE WE'RE SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND IN NEW YORK CITY, HE BELIEVED THERE SHOULD BE AN INCREASE IN FUNDING FOR THE ASIAN HATE CRIME TASK FORCE, WHICH IS A SPECIAL VOLUNTEER TASK FORCE SET UP BY THE NYPD LAST SUMMER.

AND MANY PEOPLE AT THE VIGIL YESTERDAY WERE NOT HAPPY TO SEE THIS PERSPECTIVE VOICED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY GROUPS, THE ASIAN AMERICAN FEMINIST COLLECTIVE, WHICH HAS BEEN VERY VOCAL ON THIS MATTER, BELIEVE THAT POLICING ISN'T THE ANSWER.

THE ANSWER IS INVESTING MORE DEEPLY INTO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS.

THAT'S BEEN A REALLY BIG POINT OF TENSION IN THIS NEW YORK CITY AROUND THIS TOPIC.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SEEMS TO ALSO BE A CHALLENGING ISSUE, IF YOU WILL, IS HOW WE ADDRESS THIS AT THE LEGISLATIVE LEVEL.

MARIA, TO YOU, I'M WONDERING THERE'S BEEN NUMEROUS CALLS OVER THE YEAR, MANY DIFFERENT MINORITY GROUPS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR MORE SUPPORT AND WHEN IT GETS TO MORE LEGISLATION, IT SEEMS TO MISS THE MARK.

I'M WONDERING WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ON THE IDEA OF LET'S PERHAPS PASS MORE LAWS.

IS THAT WHAT'S NEEDED OR IS IT, AS CHRISTINE SAYS, MORE INVESTMENT INTO COMMUNITIES?

LOOK, LAWS LONG-TERM, SURE, ABSOLUTELY.

OF COURSE WE WANT LAWS THAT ARE GOING TO DEFEND PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE'RE BEING VICTIMIZED JUST BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE.

I THINK RIGHT NOW IT'S A MUCH MORE IMMEDIATE CONVERSATION.

AT THE SAME TIME THAT WE NEED AN IMMEDIATE CONVERSATION, I'M DRAWN BACK TO THE EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD IN WRITING MY BOOK 'ONCE I WAS YOU.'

BECAUSE IT WAS IN WRITING THAT BOOK WHERE I'M PIECING TOGETHER THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY'S IMMIGRATION, BECAUSE WE'RE IN NEW YORK, WE HAVE THE STATUE OF LIBERTY.

ISN'T THAT THE NARRATIVE WE HAVE IN OUR COUNTRY, RIGHT?

ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENS IS YOU UNDERSTAND THE PAIGE ACT IN THE 1870s AND YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE FIRST PEOPLE TO BE EXCLUDED FROM COMING TO THIS COUNTRY, FROM ARRIVING ON THIS LAND WERE CHINESE ASIAN WOMEN.

IN THE HISTORY BOOKS WE WERE TAUGHT, RIGHT, OH, THE REASON WHY THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO COME IS BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO BE INVOLVED IN PROSECUTION AND SEX WORK.

IT'S JUST LIKE, WHAT?

SO WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE CRIMINALIZATION, THE OTHERIZATION, THE EXCLUSION, THE SEXUALIZATION OF CHINESE/ASIAN WOMEN IN GENERAL IN THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE THE 1870s.

WHEN WE HAVE TO BRING IT UP TO THIS PRESENT MOMENT, BECAUSE IT GETS EVEN MORE HORRIBLE.

WHILE WE'RE IN MOURNING FOR OUR ASIAN AMERICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS, ONE OF THE VICTIMS' HUSBANDS WAS A CENTRAL AMERICAN MAN WHO WENT LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT HIS WIFE WHO HAD JUST BEEN SHOT AND INSTEAD THEY HANDCUFF HIM FOR TWO HOURS AND TAKE HIM AS A POSSIBLE SUSPECT FOR TWO HOURS, BECAUSE HE IS CENTRAL AMERICA.

THIS IS HOW HE PRESENTS, HE IS BROWN, HE SPEAKS SPANISH.

IMMEDIATELY NOW HE IS CRIMINALIZED TOO.

SO WE HAVE TO BEGIN TO MAKE THE HORRIBLE CONNECTIONS IN OUR OWN COUNTRY THAT IS GOING TO BE HELPED BY LEGISLATION, BUT I AGREE IT NEEDS TO GO INTO OUR GRASSROOTS, OUR SCHOOLS AND THESE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS AS WELL.

WE'VE HEARD TWO PERFECT EXAMPLES OF HOW COMMUNITIES ARE SAYING MORE POLICE ISN'T NECESSARILY THE ANSWER AND WHEN WE DO TRY TO ENGAGE WITH THE POLICE IN LOOKING FOR HELP,IF YOU'RE A PERSON OF COLOR, YOU END UP CRIMINALIZED BECAUSE OF YOUR RACIAL PRESENTATION AS WELL.

JEFF, I'M WONDERING, THE NYPD HAS SUCH A FRAUGHT HISTORY IN DEALING WITH PEOPLE OF COLOR IN NEW YORK CITY.

DO WE KNOW OF ANYTHING -- AT LEAST, ARE THERE ANY NEW INITIATIVES OR SOMETHING THAT THEY'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO TO THREAD WHAT CAN SEEM LIKE A DELL CAN'T NEEDLE BECAUSE THE TRACK RECORD ISN'T FOR A LOT OF COMMUNITIES WHEN IT COMES TO TRUST?

BETTER DATA COLLECTION, FIRST OF ALL.

YOU CAN'T REALLY ADDRESS A PROBLEM IF YOU CAN'T REALLY DEFINE IT.

WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ATTACKED.

WE KNOW ESPECIALLY IN THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO FACE ATTACKS EVERY DAY ON THE SUBWAYS WHO DON'T REPORT THOSE ATTACKS.

I HAD A CHANCE TO TALK TO WAYNE GOL OF THE CHINESE AMERICAN COUNCIL.

HE WAS WHERE SOME OF THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES WERE SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE VIOLENCE AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS.

WHAT HE CALLED FOR WAS DEEPER INVESTMENT INTO THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN NEW YORK CITY, THE DIVERSE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY.

THAT MEANS INVESTING IN THE NONPROFITS THAT ARE DOING THIS WORK THAT HELP PEOPLE FEEL COMFORTABLE REPORTING THESE CRIMES.

IN ADDITION, HE TALKED ABOUT TOKENISM IN THE CITY GOVERNMENT.

YOU KNOW, WHERE ARE THE DEPUTY MAYORS, WHERE ARE THE DEPARTMENT HEADS THAT ARE ASIAN AMERICAN THAT COULD STEP OUT, THAT CAN REACH INTO THE COMMUNITY?

SO THOSE ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED, I BELIEVE, IF GOVERNMENT IS REALLY GOING TO TAKE SOME STEPS, GAIN TRUST OF THE COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, AND HELP PEOPLE GET A HANDLE, FEEL COMFORTABLE COMING OUT AND TALK ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THEM.

WE'VE TOUCHED ON SOME OF THE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE COLLECTING DATA, AAPI AND THE ASIAN AMERICAN FEDERATION, JUST TO NAME TWO OF THEM.

BUT I'M WONDERING, JEFF, FROM WHAT YOU JUST MENTIONED, THE QUESTION OF WHERE ARE PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT WHO ARE OF ASIAN DED DESCENT WHO COULD HELP DRIVE SOME OF THESE CONVERSATIONS?

TO ASK A GLIB QUESTION, WHICH SOME PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE, WHY DOES IT MATTER TO HAVE SOMEONE, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, FROM YOUR GROUP BEING REPRESENTED IN A HIGHER LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT?

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE?

HOW IS THAT GOING TO CHANGE THE EQUATION OF WHAT'S GOING ON?

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR IS REAL CLARIFICATION OF WHY THAT'S SO IMPORTANT.

RECOMMENDATION MATTERS.

IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THE HISTORY OF THE GOVERNMENT, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE THEM, AFRICAN-AMERICANS, LATINOS IN THE GOVERNMENT, PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THEIR PERSPECTIVE, WHO KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A YOUNG BLACK MAN AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLICE, FOR EXAMPLE.

OR AST MARIA JUST MENTIONED, TH LATINO MAN IN ATLANTA AND HIS WIFE DIED AND HE'S HELD AND QUESTIONED BY POLICE.

IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF THE POLICIES ENACTED, THE IDEAS EXPLORED AND TAKEN SERIOUSLY.

IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU HAVE THOSE PEOPLE AT THE TABLE.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE PEOPLE AT THE TABLE THAT HAVEN'T HAD THAT EXPERIENCE, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND THIS IN THE WAY THAT PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING IT RIGHT NOW.

MARIA, JUST FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS SO HARD TO GET CLASSIFICATIONS OF HATE CRIMES?

WHAT WE'RE HEARING SO OFTEN FROM A LOT OF THESE STORIES, PARTICULARLY COMING FROM THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY, IS THAT NOT ONLY IS THERE HESITATION TO ENGAGE WITH THE POLICE, BUT IF YOU DO, IT'S SO HARD TO GET IT TAKEN SERIOUSLY OR EVEN CONSIDERED A HATE CRIME.

IT SEEMS LIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN ATLANTA WAS A BREAKING POINT FOR WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THEY SEE AS VERY CLEARLY A HATE CRIME THAT THE POLICE HAVE YET TO OFFICIALLY DETERMINE SO.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS WHEN I DID SOME REPORTING IN FLUSHING, WHICH BY THE WAY, APART FROM TIMES SQUARE IS THE BUSIEST INTERSECTION IN NEW YORK CITY.

KIND OF LOVE THAT LITTLE PIECE OF DATA.

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO CENTRAL FLUSHING AND WATCHING EVERYBODY COMING AND GOING, I MEAN, IT'S BEAUTIFUL, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS SURPRISING TO ME WAS THAT BECAUSE I'M MEXICAN AND I'VE BEEN REPORTING ON IMMIGRATION FOR SO LONG, IN THE MEXICAN AND IN THE LATINO COMMUNITY IN GENERAL, TALKING ABOUT YOUR UNDOCUMENTED STATUS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE ASHAMED OF NECESSARILY, MAYBE NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU SHARE A LOT, BUT YOU'RE NOT NECESSARILY ASHAMED.

IT WAS VERY INTERESTING FOR ME TO LEARN THAT WITHIN MANY OF THE ASIAN COMMUNITIES THERE'S A LOT OF SHAME AROUND BEING UNDOCUMENTED.

I WAS THINKING ABOUT THAT SHAME ON TOP OF BEING A COMMUNITY THAT, YOU KNOW, IS -- AGAIN, WE LOVE QUEENS, BUT NOT EVERYBODY IN CENTRAL MANHATTAN IS GOING OUT TO QUEENS TO GET THE VIBE AND SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING THERE.

FOR ME, IT ISN'T SURPRISING THAT YOU WILL HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAYBE UNDOCUMENTED, MAYBE DON'T FEEL SEEN NECESSARILY BY THE POLICE SPECIFICALLY.

I MEAN, OVER THE LAST YEAR I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE HAD TO COME TO TERMS WITH WHILE WE'VE BEEN IN LOCKDOWN IS EVEN HERE IN HARLEM THERE'S AN INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE.

WHEN I SEE THAT I'M SAYING, WOW, THERE ARE UNDOCUMENTED NEIGHBORS OF MINE WHO WON'T COME TO THE PARK BECAUSE THERE ARE POLICE IN THE PARK.

THEY WON'T COME.

THEY'RE AFRAID OF THE POLICE.

I KNOW IT'S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE MEMBERS OF YOUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE BEING PICKED UP FOR JAYWALKING AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEY'RE BEING DEPORTED, THIS FEAR SIS LEGITIMATE.

IT'S NOT A NEW FEAR FOR NEW YORK, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT US TO UNDERSTAND THESE ARE OUR FELLOW NEW YORKERS WHO ARE LIVING IN THIS KIND OF FEAR AND RIGHT NOW CENTERING OUR ASIAN AMERICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

CHRISTINE, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT A PIECE OF REPORTING THAT YOU DID AND THAT WAS THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NYPD'S SPECIFIC ASIAN HATE CRIME TASK FORCE ANNOUNCED THAT HE'S RETIRING.

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT DO WE KNOW?

SHOULD WE READ ANYTHING INTO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT, AND SECOND OF ALL, HOW DO YOU SEE THAT IMPACTING THE ABILITY TO NOT ONLY PROPERLY ENGAGE BUT TO RESPOND TO THIS INCREASE IN ASSAULTS AND CRIMES?

COMMANDING OFFICER STUART LU ANNOUNCED HE WOULD BE RETIRING IN A MATTER OF WEEKS, ON APRIL 5th MAYBE.

W WHO WILL BE THE NEXT COMMANDING OFFICER TO PICK UP THE REINS, WILL THEY HAVE THE SAME PRIORITIES, WILL THEY BE MORE VOCALLY TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT IS A VOLUNTEER-RUN TASK FORCE RIGHT NOW, WHICH I IMAGINE IS VERY TAXING ON THE POLICE OFFICERS THAT ARE DOING THIS RESPONSIBILITY IN ADDITION TO THEIR CURRENT ROLES.

I THINK IT RAISES A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DIRECTION THIS TASK FORCE WILL TAKE.

JUST FROM JANUARY TO MARCH OF THIS YEAR, MID MARCH JUST A MATTER OF WEEKS AGO, THE HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE LOGGED, I BELIEVE, TEN HATE CRIME INCIDENTS INVOLVING ASIANS.

I GUESS IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN HOW THIS NUMBER MIGHT RISE DEPENDING ON THE THE HATE CRIMES TASK FORCE IS UTILIZED IN A MORE INVOLVED WAY.

AND I THINK GOING BACK TO A POINT ACTUALLY THAT JEFF MADE EARLIER ABOUT THE REPORTING, I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, LIKE I SAID, THIS NUMBER FROM JANUARY TO MARCH IS ONLY TEN, BUT THE NUMBERS WE'RE SEEING FROM GROUPS LIKE STOP AAPI HATE IS MUCH, MUCH HIGHER.

A LOT OF THAT LIES IN THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO REPORT ANONYMOUSLY, WHICH IS NOT SOMETHING YOU'RE ALLOWED TO DO WITH THE NYPD.

WHEN YOU REPORT A HATE INCIDENT WHICH OFTEN DOESN'T LEVEL TO THE AREA OF BEING CATEGORIZED AS A HATE CRIME, YOU'RE INTERVIEWED COUNTLESS TIMES.

YOU'RE SOMETIMES NOT EVEN GIVEN AN INTERPRETER IN THE BEGINNING.

IT IS A REALLY DAUNTI ING FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.

THAT'S WHY WE'RE SEEING THE NUMBERS FOR THE NYPD SO MUCH LOWER THAN ON A NATIONAL SCALE.

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD THIS, JENNA.

FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS WE'VE BEEN REPORTING ABOUT WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING IN THE FBI.

I'M BRINGING UP THE FBI, BECAUSE THE FBI IS SUPPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH LOOKING AT ISSUES OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM AND VIOLENCE.

FOR DECADES, ACTUALLY, ASIAN AMERICANS, AFRICAN-AMERICANS, LATINOS, IMMIGRANTS, TRANS PEOPLE, MUSLIM PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING HATE CRIMES ARE ON THE RISE.

WE HAVE DATA.

WHILE THERE WAS A PUSH BY SOME WITHIN THE FBI TO SAY WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON WHITE SUPREMACY AND WHITE SUPREMACIST ORGANIZED GROUPS AND WHITE SUPREMACIST DOMESTIC TERRORISM.

WITHIN THE FBI WHICH IS MAJORITY WHITE, MALE, PRESENTING HETEROSEXUAL.

THOSE GUYS, YOU MEAN LIKE MY UNCLE BOB?

UNCLE BOB WAS MAYBE ON JANUARY 6th, 2021, TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE CAPITOL, BUT IN THE FBI IT'S JUST, OH, IT'S MY UNCLE BOB, HE SAYS THINGS ABOUT ASIAN PEOPLE BUT HE DOESN'T REALLY MEAN IT.

WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IT'S A STRUCTURAL ISSUE.

DON'T THROW MONEY AT THE FBI, BUT UNDERSTAND WHERE THE PRIORITIES ARE OF THE FBI AND THAT THEY HAVE BASICALLY TURNED AWAY FROM HATE CRIMES, FROM LOOKING AT WHITE SUPREMACIST AS HATE ORGANIZED CRIME.

WE AS JOURNALISTS HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO BE SHOWING SUNSHINE HERE AND SAYING YOU NEED TO BE DOING THIS, THIS IS PART OF YOUR WORK, MR. AND MRS.

FBI.

OKAY.

LET ME FOLLOW THAT UP WITH DOES THAT FIT INTO THE POINT THAT JEFF WAS MAKING AND YOU WERE MAKING AS WELL ABOUT THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION WITHIN ORGANIZATIONS LIKE POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND THE FBI?

ABSOLUTELY.

AND ALSO DATA.

YOU KNOW, I MEAN EVERY TIME I SAY ASIAN AMERICAN, I'M LIKE IT'S KOREAN AMERICAN, VIETNAMESE AMERICAN, CAMBODIAN.

IT'S THE SAME WAY IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE LIKE, WELL, THAT HISPANIC MAN.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

THERE ARE PARTICULARITIES.

WE'RE NOT AT THAT POINT YET, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW SADLY COMING OUT OF WHAT WE JUST LIVED THERE WITH THE LAST ADMINISTRATION, WE'RE HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF RATE.

I'M NOT SAYING REPRESENTATION IS GOING TO SOLVE EVERYTHING, BUT IF YOU HAVE HONEST VOICES THERE, WE NEED THOSE VOICES BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT A PARTY PATORY LOOKS LIKE GOING FORWARD.

I WANT TO TURN A LITTLE BIT TO THE SITUATION UNFOLDING IN ALBANY.

OF COURSE, WE KNOW THAT FURTHER ALLEGATIONS HAVE COME OUT AGAINST GOVERNOR CUOMO IMPLYING IMPROPER BEHAVIOR, IN SOME CASES GOING AS FAR AS GROPING AND TOUCHING.

JEFF, I WANTED TO GET YOUR SENSE OR EVEN TO UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH OF A SENSE YOU MIGHT HAVE OF WHERE THE INVESTIGATION FROM THE STATE AG'S OFFICE STANDS, BECAUSE THAT SEEMS TO BE WHERE ANY FORWARD MOVEMENT IS GOING TO COME.

SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE CALLED FOR THE GOVERNOR TO RESIGN.

HE SAID HE'S NOT GOING TO DO IT.

SO IT SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING CONCRETE HAS TO HAPPEN FOR THIS STORY TO REALLY BEGIN MOVING FORWARD?

YEAH.

IT SEEMS LIKE THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL TISH JAMES, HER INVESTIGATION IS MOVING ALONG, SHE WAS INTERVIEWING PEOPLE LAST WEEK AS WELL ABOUT SOME OF THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT CHARGES AGAINST THE GOVERNOR.

AS WE SAW JUST LAST WEEK, THERE WAS A NEW ALLEGATION FROM A CURRENT MEMBER OF HIS STAFF, WHO SAID, YOU KNOW, HE OGLED HER AND MADE INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTS.

BUT THE BIGGER PICTURE I THINK THAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE GOVERNOR IS AT THE SAME TIME YOU HAVE THESE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS, YOU HAVE THIS SORT OF INVESTIGATION ALSO GOING ON ABOUT THE NURSING HOME DATA AND WHETHER HE WAS HONEST AND FORTHCOMING ABOUT THE NURSING HOME DATA.

SO YOU KNOW, THE FBI IS LOOKING AT WHETHER THE STATE SUBMITTED FALSE DATA ABOUT NURSING HOME DEATHS TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THE GOVERNOR AND HIS STAFF WERE NOT HONEST INITIALLY ABOUT HOW MANY NURSING HOME DEATHS THAT THE STATE HAD, YOU KNOW, SEPARATING PEOPLE WHO DIED AT HOSPITALS VERSUS PEOPLE WHO DIED AT THE NURSING HOMES THEMSELVES.

AND THEN THERE'S ANOTHER INVESTIGATION ABOUT THE STATE OFFICIALS AND A PROVISION THAT GRANT NURSING HOMES SORT OF EXEMPTIONS FROM LAWSUITS AND HOW THAT PIECE OF LEGISLATION CAME ABOUT.

YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR HAS THESE SWIRLING INVESTIGATIONS AROUND HIM, AROUND VERY SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, INCLUDING ONE WOMAN WHO SAID HE GROPED HER BREASTS.

ALSO, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING INTO THESE SERIOUS CHARGES OF WHETHER THEY REPORTED NURSING HOME DATA ACCURATELY, WHICH WOULD POSSIBLY BE A CRIMINAL MATTER.

SO THESE ITEMS ARE PROCEEDING, AND WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS DOING IS REALLY TRYING TO BUY TIME.

THERE HAVE BEEN CALLS FOR HIS RESIGNATION FROM A LOT OF THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT, AND HIS ARGUMENT HAS BEEN THAT HE DESERVES DUE PROCESS.

HE'S HOLDING ON SO FAR, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG THAT WILL HOLD UP.

WELL, THAT IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT I THINK A LOT OF NEW YORKERS ARE WAITING TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS, BECAUSE OF COURSE WE'VE SEEN OTHER INSTANCES OF GOVERNORS WHO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HOLD ON.

BUT CAN THE GOVERNOR MANAGE TO DO SO AND GO FORWARD?

ARE THERE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT THE WAY THESE INVESTIGATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS ARE BEING HANDLED?

IS THERE ANY CONCERN THIS COULD BE PERHAPS SLOWING DOWN OR GUMMING UP THE BUDGET PROCESS, BECAUSE OF COURSE APRIL 1st IS COMING AND NEW YORK IS ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO BE AN ON-TIME BUDGET?

THAT'S BEEN A CONCERN OF WHETHER THE GOVERNOR CAN GOVERN PROPERLY IN THE MIDST OF THESE SWIRLING ALLEGATIONS.

HIS ARGUMENT HAS BEEN THAT HE CAN DO THAT, THAT THERE ARE STATE LEADERS THAT ARE MOVING THE BUDGET PROCESS ALONG AS WELL, BUT THE ARGUMENT FOR MANY PEOPLE HAS BEEN THAT HE, AT THIS POINT, GIVEN THE CONTINUING NEW ALLEGATIONS THAT SEEM TO COME OUT EVERY FEW DAYS, THAT IT'S MAKING IT HARD FOR HIM TO GOVERN AND MOVE AN AGENDA.

OKAY.

IT'S INTERESTING, JENNA, BECAUSE IT WAS A YEAR AGO.

LOOK, WOULD I BE WATCHING A DAILY NEWS CONFERENCE FROM GOVERNOR CUOMO ON A DAILY BASIS AS A JOURNALIST HERE IN NEW YORK?

NO.

THIS TIME A YEAR AGO, I STARTED WATCHING.

WE PROBABLY ALL DID.

SUDDENLY YOU'RE HAVING AN EXPERIENCE OF HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR GOVERNOR THAT USUALLY YOU DON'T HAVE.

LIKE, THE GOVERNOR, BECAUSE IT WAS A YEAR AGO THAT I WAS GETTING SICK WITH COVID, SO IT BECAME KIND OF LIKE THIS THING THAT I HAD TO DO.

AND THE GOVERNOR WAS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME IN MY TRAJECTORY OF GETTING VERY SICK AND THEN GETTING BETTER AND MAKING SURE MY HUSBAND ALSO RECUPERATED, BECAUSE OF COURSE I INFECTED HIM.

SO I WAS HAVING A VERY HARD TIME AROUND THIS AND I ACTUALLY GOT ON THE PHONE WITH A FELLOW JOURNALIST, BECAUSE I WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, THIS IS VERY PROBLEMATIC WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH CUOMO, BUT I'M VERY A VERY HARD TIME SEPARATING LIKE STOCKHOLM SYNDROME.

HE HELPED US WHEN NOBODY ELSE WAS GOING TO HELP US, ESPECIALLY PRESIDENT TRUMP.

AS A SURVIVOR OF RAPE, THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE.

I WAS IN THE NEWSROOMS IN THE '80s AND THE '90s, SO WE DON'T EVEN WANT TO -- IT DOESN'T EXCUSE GOVERNOR CUOMO, BUT I'M TRYING TO THINK, OKAY, DUE PROCESS.

BUT HERE'S ONE THING HE COULD DO RIGHT NOW, IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS, START DOING THE WORK, ACTUALLY, THE WORK THAT WOMEN FEMINIST SURVIVORS WOULD WANT YOU TO DO.

START GOING TO THERAPY NOT ONCE A WEEK.

HOW ABOUT FIVE TIMES A WEEK?

HOW ABOUT COMING BACK AND GIVING US THE UPDATE OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE FOR YOU TO DO THERAPY AND COMING INTO CONTACT WITH YOUR OWN PRIVILEGE, YOUR SEXIST PRIVILEGE?

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, A HANDSY, GROPY, IT'S GROSS.

EVERY WOMAN, WE KNOW EXACTLY WHO THEY ARE.

HE'S TOO OLD TO BE LIKE, YOU KNOW I DIDN'T KNOW.

NO.

DO THE HARD WORK OF CONTRITION, BUT ALSO TEACH OTHER MEN HOW TO NOT DO THIS BY BEING PUBLIC AND DOING THE HARD WORK AND THE HUMILITY THAT IT WILL TAKE, BECAUSE WOMEN WILL EXPECT YOU TO BE RIDICULOUSLY HUMBLE, GOVERNOR CUOMO.

AND RIGHT NOW, YOU'RE NOT NECESSARILY BEING VERY HUMBLE.

I'M CHOOSING MY WORDS CAREFULLY, BECAUSE THAT IS AN INCREDIBLY, I THINK, POWERFUL SUGGESTION FOR THE GOVERNOR.

WE SHALL SEE.

I'LL PUT IT THAT WAY.

WE ARE COMING UP ON THE END OF OUR TIME TOGETHER.

WE DIDN'T REALLY HAVE MUCH TIME TO GET INTO HEADLINES WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO.

CHRISTINE, I'LL GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD.

WHAT IS IT YOU'RE GOING TO BE FOLLOWING AS THIS WEEK UNFOLDS?

I'M REALLY CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT THE PEOPLE WHO REPRESENT US WILL BE SAYING ABOUT WHAT ACTIONS THEY WILL TAKE TO ADDRESS THIS SPATE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE WE'RE SEEING.

I WAS STRUCK BY THE FACT THAT MAYOR BILL de BLASIO SO FAR IS SAYING HE STANDS WITH THE ASIAN COMMUNITY.

THIS WASN'T FOLLOWED BY ANY PROPOSALS FOR ACTION.

SO I'M CURIOUS TO SEE WHAT THAT WILL LOOK LIKE, WHAT WILL STANDING WITH THE AAPI COMMUNITY LOOK LIKE HERE IN NEW YORK CITY?

WITH THAT, I'M GOING TO THANK MY GUESTS ON THE ROUNDTABLE.

THANK YOU, JEFF MAYS, METRO REPORTER FOR THE 'NEW YORK TIMES.'

THANK YOU, MARIA HINOJOSA, HOST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE PUBLIC RADIO SHOW 'LATINO USA.'

AND THANK YOU CHRISTINE CHUNG, QUEENS REPORTER AT 'THE CITY.'

YOU GUYS WERE GREAT AND THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLY INSIGHT FFUL CONVERSATION ON SOME CHALLENGING ISSUES.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019

BBB Logo Charity Navigator Logo